Even though vehicle safety has advanced significantly in recent decades, car accidents continue to be a primary cause of both death and serious injury for children who are 12 and younger. In fact, in 2019 alone, more than 600 young children died and another 91,000 suffered injuries in motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
While you probably cannot eliminate the risk to your children, you can take a variety of steps to keep them safe every time they ride in your car, truck or SUV. Three of these steps are simple.
1. Use a height- and weight-appropriate car seat
While the seat belts and airbags in your vehicle are good at protecting adult-sized individuals, they may cause the young ones in your family to suffer unnecessary injuries. Therefore, every time you transport your kids, you should strap them into a height- and weight-appropriate car or booster seat.
2. Avoid distracted driving
The most effective way to keep your kids safe in the car is to avoid car accidents altogether. To do so, you must focus on the driving task. By stashing your smartphone, waiting until you arrive home to eat your fast food and minimizing other distractions, you remain alert and focused behind the wheel.
3. Secure pets and lose objects
Even though it may be adorable to watch your dog or cat jump onto your child during your trips, your family pet should not roam freely in your vehicle. After all, your furry friend may become a deadly projectile during a crash. The same is true for smartphones, purses, toys and other belongings.
By securing pets and lose objects before you leave home, you prevent items from injuring your children during a crash. Ultimately, if you can keep the inside of your vehicle clean, your children may have a better chance of emerging injury-free from an unexpected collision.